Canada Bay Club has always been proudly and actively involved in our local community, providing an inclusive and welcoming social hub for our members and the broader community, as well as invaluable support for schools, local not-for-profit organisations, and sports clubs through our fundraising projects and events. Last year alone, Canada Bay Club provided in excess of $500,000 to more than 150 Inner West community groups and sporting organisations, and hosted many of their fundraising events in our purpose-built function rooms.
Many local community organisations rely on volunteers, who are often time-poor and inexperienced in the many elements required to put on a successful fundraiser. This is where Canada Bay Club’s functions team is an invaluable resource to call on. With expertise in every aspect of fundraising event planning – from menus and entertainment ideas to setting up the perfect event space – they’re the go-to source of knowledge for any event requirements. Here, they share their top tips for success.
Set your budget and fundraising goal
Make sure you have a clear vision for your fundraising expectations – not only how much you’re aiming to raise, but how much it might cost to set up your event and run it successfully. This also includes budgeting for outlays such as promoting the event, function spaces, catering and even decorating the space.
Check your event date
You want to optimise numbers and ensure as many people as possible will have the chance to attend, so it’s important to do your research. Check upcoming events in the area on local community and government websites to find out what’s going on – and even what’s already happened! – to make sure your chosen date or campaign focus doesn’t clash with anything else.
Book your venue and your team
As soon as you’ve set the date – and this may well also depend on venue availability – book your function space. Canada Bay Club has a variety of fantastic venue options for whatever size or style of function you’re planning.
Once you’ve set your date – and try to set it well in advance – it’s essential to lock in your volunteers and other participants as soon as you can, so you have a reliable support crew who can, in turn, make their own arrangements in good time to ensure they’re ‘alright on the night’.
Consider your audience
The event you plan will depend on whom you’re wanting to engage within the community. So, whichever organisation you choose to raise funds for – whether it’s your own, or something else – keep your guests and their interests and tastes in mind. You want to create an entire experience that will inspire and delight them, thereby encouraging them to donate generously!
Brief the event hosts
The success of any event will rely on good planning and sharing information. Thoroughly briefing your function team on your needs and expectations will smooth your path – and theirs – to ensure everything works to perfection. That way, you can concentrate on keeping your guests happy, entertained and informed, while everything else runs smoothly and efficiently in the background.
Save the date and spread the word
Give participants and guests plenty of notice for your fundraising event, so they can ‘pencil in’ the date well in advance. Even if ticket bookings aren’t immediately available, it’s important to get that initial ‘save the date’ message out – via social media, such as Facebook, where you can set up an event page with links to the venue, your organisation and fundraising recipients. Allowing people to post comments and share the event with their own networks is a really effective, ‘viral’ way of spreading the word. For instance, a recent Dine & Dance for a Cure event held at Canada Bay Club to raise money for prostate cancer drew a lot of attention through our own Facebook event page.
It’s also important to communicate with your own network via your newsletter subscriber list, if you have one, and website, and, of course, those of your fundraising recipients. Once that’s done, you can keep sending out emails, posts and information right up to the event, and even afterwards, to keep the donations flowing.
Online event booking options
There are several online booking sites that can help streamline the process for you, as well as help maximise your bookings. For instance, trybooking.com has a whole section of its site devoted to fundraising events, and offers excellent creative advice on all aspects of planning and how to get the best out of the occasion. It also allows people to donate before or after the event, so those who can’t attend can still be involved.
Choose your champions
It’s a great idea to enlist one or more ‘ambassadors’ for your chosen cause, preferably those with some standing in the local community or beyond. They can become your spokespeople on social and traditional media outlets and, even better, at the event itself, by engaging with their own community and telling your story for you.
Finally, remember that the functions team at Canada Bay Club are here to help in any way they can, so don’t hesitate to contact them to help raise the bar on your special event.